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This profile was last updated on 12/22/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Mr. Iain Rennie

Wrong Iain Rennie?

State Services Commissioner

Local Address: New Zealand

Board Memberships and Affiliations

93 Total References
Web References
Global Government Forum, 22 Dec 2014 [cached]
Iain Rennie talks exclusively to GGF about innovation, collaboration and thinking outside the box.
With the increased pace of global and environmental change, it has seldom been so challenging to lead public services. One country, New Zealand, has successfully adapted its public sector through acceptance of trial, error and innovation. Clearly there are lessons to be learned by many countries currently unwilling to accept the level of trial and, importantly, error that New Zealand has experienced.
However, for Iain Rennie, State Services Commissioner, New Zealand does start with some advantages:
Mr Rennie explains why he thinks that is:
While acknowledging the forward-thinking already in place, Mr Rennie sees there is more to do:
‘Because of some of the really hard issues that we are trying to grapple with, and the need to meet a rise in community expectations, we ourselves feel we have to do better about being both more innovative and exercising more speed in bringing appropriate innovation to policy or to service delivery, whatever is relevant.’
For New Zealand’s public sector, the solution seems to be not just a willingness to try new things, but to also embark on a high level of collaboration within departments and organisations. Mr Rennie acknowledges that advice from one country does not necessarily transfer easily to another but, given that caveat, he explains his country’s thinking:
Mr Rennie also chooses these as the two major threats to New Zealand’s stability.
The economic crises in the world which are still playing out are very much at the forefront of planning and consideration in New Zealand.
The other aspect, as Mr Rennie explains, is the concern over global terrorism. ‘I think we are all much more aware of the broad security environment that countries are working on. While New Zealand is still in many ways a relatively low risk environment, we are not immune from some of the challenges around potential terrorism that you see in other countries at the moment.’
Shifting Channels
While these challenges are recognised, what can be unsettling is the sheer speed at which crises and changes develop. As Mr Rennie put it: ‘One of our key challenges is the pace and impact of global trends through to our country.
To Mr Rennie, a return to a stronger global economy has more than the obvious advantages. ‘Lifting living standards right across the globe is important in terms of addressing concerns about economic or social inequality.
As Mr Rennie says: ‘There is a wide set of metrics that you want to look at, such as the sustainability of resource use in the environment, a sense about attitudes and feelings of social inclusion through the community.
‘We have made it clearer’ says Mr Rennie, ‘about where some decisions actually do reside within the civil service.
While Mr Rennie freely acknowledges that what is working in New Zealand is not a simple template for every country, it is clear that New Zealand continues to be a trailblazer in public service delivery.
But State Services Commissioner Mr ..., 11 Dec 2014 [cached]
But State Services Commissioner Mr Rennie's $610,000 to $619,999 pay package was eclipsed by those of several other public sector bosses, including NZ Super Fund chief executive Adrian Orr, who received $800,000 to $809,999 in the year to June, according to the commission's report on executive remuneration.
"Chief executive remuneration requires a careful balance between ensuring we can attract and retain highly qualified and skilled leaders for New Zealand's public institutions while being prudent and restrained when spending public money," said Mr Rennie yesterday.
He is on notice from State Services Minister Paula Bennett for botching the departure of Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority chief executive Roger Sutton, who resigned last month after an investigation into claims he sexually harassed female staff members.
Mr Rennie said the average increase in base salary for public service chief executives was 2.8 per cent.
State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie.
His own pay, however, which is set by the Remuneration Authority, rose by 8 per cent.
• 6. Iain Rennie - State Services Commission: $610,000 to $619,999
Board | Australia and New Zealand School of Government, 13 Feb 2014 [cached]
Mr Iain Rennie, State Services Commissioner, New Zealand State Services Commission
Should Iain Rennie ..., 23 Nov 2014 [cached]
Should Iain Rennie resign?
Pressure is mounting on Mr Rennie after it emerged he ignored advice from senior officials to exclude the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority boss from the press conference.
"I think it's fair to say that Iain is deeply remorseful for the fact that he was silly enough to hold that press conference on a joint basis - he should have held a press conference, just not one on a joint basis."
Mr Rennie had spent his working career dedicated to the service of others and the public service, he said.
"He will always have on his record now that in this particular instance, it could have been handled a lot better.
"But on the other side of the coin, do you simply say, if somebody makes one mistake like that, then that's the end of it?"
If Mr Rennie made a similar mistake, his career would be ended, Mr Key said.
When asked why Mr Rennie was not also publicly saying the press conference was a mistake, Mr Key told TVNZ's Breakfast show people would have to ask him that.
Mr Key told Newstalk ZB there had been "firm and frank" conversations between Mr Rennie and Ms Bennett.
Mr Little said these new details showed Mr Rennie was "unfit for the job".
"[Mr Rennie] accepts that it should have been handled differently ... More importantly, he has expressed his regret at any hurt his actions last Monday may have caused the woman who has come forward."
Mr Rennie said yesterday he had a number of advisers who gave him free and frank advice.
"I am confident this is what I received in this case. Responsibility for all decisions rests with me," he said.
Pressure goes on State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie
The complaint was upheld but State ..., 18 Nov 2014 [cached]
The complaint was upheld but State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie found the charges did not warrant a sacking.
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